Go outside and Play header BLANKThis post is a nowhere-near exhaustive list of some only-in-summer activities going on in NYC – and a reminder that while it is often glorious to get out of the city during this season it is often just as glorious to stay.  This list skews towards the theatrical – but virtually every interest is indulged in this beloved season.  If you have other summer-in-the-city activities to recommend, please send them in !

Hey, not everyone is heading out to the Hamptons, up to the Berkshires, out to Bucks County, down to the shore - or wherever – during the summer.  Many people think that summer in NYC is the best time to be here with a huge offering of seasonal cultural offerings, many of which are outdoors and have an easier, experimental and YOLO vibe.  For example:

Midsummer Night SwingMIDSUMMER NIGHT SWING is almost over – it ends in four days on July 12th.  For 25 years, on the Lincoln Center Plaza in front of Avery Fisher Hall hundreds of dedicated dancers – and students of dance – break loose and dance ballroom, be-bop, disco and Lindy Hop.  Go to dance, take dance lessons – or just watch the happy, enthralled dancers – it’s an evening of exuberant entertainment however you choose to participate.

Charles JamesCHARLES JAMES at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:  This fantastic show of the master American couturier closes on August 10th !  Don’t miss it.  The Costume Institute launches their shows at the height of  Spring and closes them in the summer – so they easily fall off your dance card.  Even more interesting in this particular show is how the Met has used video presentations to deconstruct each garment so you understand how it came to be. Don’t forget that the Met is open late on Friday and Saturday nights.

pilobolusPILOBULUS has been coming to NYC every summer since 1971.  This ground-breaking dance troupe founded by several Dartmouth students features exaggerated (and often sort of funny) contortions requiring not-be-believed strength and flexibility and athleticism.  Many a dance career (including Martha Clarke’s) has been launched here.   They are performing from July 15th – August 10th at the Joyce.

governorsislandGOVERNOR’S ISLAND is open on week-days this summer for the first-time ever.  Treat yourself in the middle of the week to a free boat ride (leaving from the Coast Guard Ferry terminal, next to the Staten Island Ferry) over to the island.  Once there you can walk around the island, rent a bike (or bring one – they’re free on the ferry) and relax in hammock park with a stunning view of the Statue of Liberty.  Bring a picnic/ brown bag lunch or get a burger at Water Taxi Beach (with a great skyline view) or from one of the concessions in the middle of the island.

NYPhilharmonic summerNEW YORK PHILHARHOMIC OUTDOOR CONCERTS are coming up fast !  This coming Friday (July 11th) and Monday (July 14th) they will be offering up Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Smetana.  And if staking out blanket space amid tens of thousands of others on Sheep Meadow doesn’t appeal – don’t bother !  Amble on over to the Park and sit on a bench on the edge and take in the music and lovely, lovely scene.   The Philharmonic plays in all of the boroughs so if you can’t make it to Central Park, check the NYPhilharmonic website and see if you can catch another one.

The Who and the WHatTHE WHO AND THE WHAT, Lincoln Center Theater’s almost-impossible to get tickets for production has been extended for two weeks, until July 27th.  Funny, relevant, gripping and challenging – this is a wonderful work which confronts one’s assumptions about who you are and the prism of  contradictions that quite possibly made you that way. This is a big opportunity – grab it.

Here Lies LoveHERE LIES LOVE , a Public Theater “musical experience” now playing at the Pubic’s newly renovated digs downtown, has audiences wondering if this is a theatrical or disco experience – the answer: both.  Based on Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos’ extraordinary life and circumstances (forget about the shoes!) this is a joint work by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim and was reviewed by Vogue as “A life-giving, roof-raising, booty-shaking blast of pure joy!”   Sort of sounds like summer, no ??  This is an immersive, participatory, all-standing, no-intermission 90-minute production:  wear your most comfortable shoes.  Plan on dancing. As of right now, this is scheduled only until SEPTEMBER 6th.  Power to the Party !

KING LEAR at the Delacorte Theater - with John Lithgow and Annette Benning, no less – opens on July 22nd and runs until August 17th.  You can get tickets by waiting on line for free ones (but get there very, very early for this one), enter the online daily lottery – or just buy some from the Public Theater’s website – and hope for a cool, rain-free, evening.

CP FlamencoFLAMENCO IN CENTRAL PARK comes in a variety of forms.  Ballet Hispanico and A Palo Seco join forces to present – and teach – flamenco at Summerstage.   But, sometimes late on Summer Saturday nights, an impromptu group forms at the south end of the Mall in the Park (near the statue) and pick-up flamenco is danced – or watched - by whomever wants to join in.

JONES BEACH is not to be forgotten !  No matter what you have to say about Robert Moses, the guy DID build one heck of a beach.  Opened in 1929, Moses’ vision was for an Atlantic Ocean-front beach playground with oodles of amenities and a sweet, sort of comely, retro-/ deco feel.  It has boardwalks and pools and beach chairs and umbrellas, restaurants and you can get there by public transportation.  And there’s a fantastic new addition this year – open daily until the end of the summer:  SMORGASBURG, that Brooklyn-based food truck phantasmagoria is ensconced at the main entrance (mostly easily reached via Parking Fields 6 and 4) and is open until 8 with food trucks, a bar, tents and beach games.   Check out some Jones Beach pics in the gallery below.

Honestly, this is just an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, speck, jot, whisper of what’s available in NYC only during the summer.   WHAT”S ON YOUR LIST ?

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Posted in 2014, New York, NY History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Red Hook Warehouse Header BLANKThis post is about the July Lunch Bunch outing on Thursday, July 10th to the BROOKLYN CRAB, in Red Hook.  Transportation options are being figured out – we hope we can take a ferry from downtown ManhattanFollowing the post is a gallery of photos taken during the MWC’s recent HUDSON VALLEY DAY-CATION – it was a truly fabulous day; the weather cooperated, the views were stunning, and our lunch at the CIA was imaginative and wonderful.   The only complaint would be that more time was needed at the FDR Museum to take in the multi-media presentations of both his presidency and an era of historic scope.

You know how every once in a (long) while you give in to a less than generous impulse and keep a bit of really great information to yourself?  Especially in NYC - where the arc from unknown to too popular seems to take a nano second and then you find yourself shut out !   It could be a great hairdresser.  Or someplace Brooklyn Crab Dwhere you get great deals on something …  Well, that’s how a lot of people feel about BROOKLYN CRAB, that kooky-crazy restaurant on stilts in Red Hook, Brooklyn that  screams beach shack – even though it’s perched high above a formerly industrial bit  of waterfront now identified by its signature red brick Civil War era “stores” (warehouses).  Difficult to get to (unless you take a ferry!) this neighborhood’s gritty remoteness is what has attracted its creative denizens, who have in turn made this outpost cool and artisanal (especially since being whacked by Hurricane Sandy) with a thriving arts and food culture. Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Brooklyn, Lunch Bunch, NY History, NYC Exploration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,


NYBG June 2014 BLANK HeaderThis post is about a trip to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx on TUESDAY, JULY 1st to have a tour of  GROUNDBREAKERS:  GREAT AMERICAN GARDENS AND THE WOMEN WHO DESIGNED THEM.  This multi-media, garden-wide  NYBG exhibition closes in early September so this might be the only time a goodly number of us may be able to see it. 

NY Botanical Garden BIn retrospect, it comes as no surprise that the recognition of landscape architecture as a profession in the early 1900′s came on the heels of this country’s City Beautiful Movement - at almost exactly the same time that women’s rights (and the women’s suffrage movement) were being championed.  The New York Botanical Garden’s current exhibition, GROUNDBREAKERS:  GREAT AMERICAN GARDENS AND THE WOMEN WHO DESIGNED THEM puts these pieces together and celebrates early 20th-century America’s most influential women in landscape architecture, design and  garden photography and presents the innovative work and significant contributions of these women to American history and culture. Continue reading

Posted in 2014, Architecture, Art, Contemporary Art, Manhattan, Manhattan Women's Club, Modern Art, New York Women, NY, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,